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Old 09-12-2013, 07:31 PM   #16
kaybird
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DDP still works for us, Free is even better. Couldn't disagree with Frommer more. But that is us. We don't leave WDW, we don't go back to the room to rest (What is better rest than sitting in a beautiful air conditioned restaurant!?!) We eat whatever we want and I don't have to give my DH cpr from sticker shock!
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:21 PM   #17
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I wrote a response to his article on the page. I like the DDP. I won't do DxDDP anymore, because that went up in price BIG time.

However, I want a sit down meal EVERY day. every single one. And I like doing some Signatures too. The DDP doesn't save me alot, but it saves a few bucks on an average trip.

For example, I am taking my bf on his 1st Disney trip in November. We will be staying at my DVC home of AKV. I am booking the DDP as a DVC member. This man can EAT and we will get our full value of the DDP for sure.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenSop View Post
I wrote a response to his article on the page. I like the DDP. I won't do DxDDP anymore, because that went up in price BIG time.

However, I want a sit down meal EVERY day. every single one. And I like doing some Signatures too. The DDP doesn't save me alot, but it saves a few bucks on an average trip.

For example, I am taking my bf on his 1st Disney trip in November. We will be staying at my DVC home of AKV. I am booking the DDP as a DVC member. This man can EAT and we will get our full value of the DDP for sure.
We like a sit down meal each day and I would say we have big appetites, too...but every time I do the math for what we eat without the DDP it comes out less than the cost of the DDP. I just can't get it to come out as a savings at all Maybe we aren't buying expensive enough entrees! We are new DVC members and plan on getting the TIW card.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:48 PM   #19
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We like a sit down meal each day and I would say we have big appetites, too...but every time I do the math for what we eat without the DDP it comes out less than the cost of the DDP. I just can't get it to come out as a savings at all Maybe we aren't buying expensive enough entrees! We are new DVC members and plan on getting the TIW card.
I've done TIW in the past, and essentially used it as a booze coupon. (So I could get alcohol at all those meals for 20% off.) Back when I had TIW, you had to have an AP to buy it. I don't currently have an AP, so I hadn't even thought of TIW again. Can you now get it without an AP?

I do tend to order expensive. My bf is a big steak eater - he'll be ordering steak on whichever menu of whichever restaurant we happen to be at. So it works out well. I also tend to save my snack credits for the priciest snacks you can get and still be included.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by JenSop View Post
I've done TIW in the past, and essentially used it as a booze coupon. (So I could get alcohol at all those meals for 20% off.) Back when I had TIW, you had to have an AP to buy it. I don't currently have an AP, so I hadn't even thought of TIW again. Can you now get it without an AP?

I do tend to order expensive. My bf is a big steak eater - he'll be ordering steak on whichever menu of whichever restaurant we happen to be at. So it works out well. I also tend to save my snack credits for the priciest snacks you can get and still be included.
Haha, booze coupon...I like it. You can get TIW if you are a DVC member, too. We tend to do the same restaurants over and over and they are some of the less expensive ones...but I am totally with you on maxing out the expensive snacks
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:46 AM   #21
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Once more of my kids are over 10, we probably won't do the DDP anymore. DDP is a deal with 'kids' (3-9) if you are doing many buffets, or all you can eat places, and it keeps both DH and me from having 'sticker shock' at the end of the meal. We are going with QSDP while not a money saver, it is a sanity saver, we know what and where DS15 &DS14 are eating when they go off on their own at the parks.

We also have TIW that we also used as a 'booze' coupon too After a day with our 6 kids we need an adult beverage, and a pint from the Rose & Crown pub, a beer from Sommerfest in Germany.....
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Old 09-13-2013, 09:56 AM   #22
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I don't believe he is thinking of WDW as a "full service" resort in the way a lot of us frequent visitors think of it. He's thinking like a first-and-only-time visitor, who usually wants to see as much as possible, and why would you sit around the hotel or a restaurant when you could be in the park?
Many people take vacations that are all about sitting and eating (cruises, all inclusives, etc.). Don't most people like to eat out once a day while on vacation?

When I was a first time visitor, we still wanted to sit and eat at fun or nice places (we ate at Crystal Palace, Boma, and Sci Fi).

I would want to sit around a restaurant if I wanted my kids to eat with Mickey, etc.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:07 AM   #23
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I don't think I would pay for DP, just based on how and what my family eats. But when it's included as a "free" option, we love it! I know about the argument that free isn't really free, but when you have a family of four, the 5%-20% (even 30% if you're super lucky!) discounts don't come close to saving us as much as the free dining plan. Let's say I lucked out and got a 30% savings on a moderate room (which is really, really stretching it!). My savings would be about $60 a night. No way I can feed a family of four at Disney for that! Especially since we're in the camp of liking to sit and have one nice, relaxing meal a day.

It really is such an individual thing. I don't think anyone, blogger or not, can say it's never a good deal or it's always a good deal. For a family that does a lot of expensive character meals and buffets, the DP might still work. If you're in the habit of always having dessert on vacation, it might still work. If you've got kids eating off the children's, menu, you're good. It's not a black and white, yes or no solution.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:26 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiths02 View Post
Many people take vacations that are all about sitting and eating (cruises, all inclusives, etc.). Don't most people like to eat out once a day while on vacation?

When I was a first time visitor, we still wanted to sit and eat at fun or nice places (we ate at Crystal Palace, Boma, and Sci Fi).

I would want to sit around a restaurant if I wanted my kids to eat with Mickey, etc.
There's a bunch of telltale language in this blog. He calls WDW "a theme park." That's a clue that he doesn't see it (or he doesn't think his readers will see it) as a vacation resort with dining experiences. How often do guests of an ordinary theme park eat at park table service restaurants?

He is not writing for this audience. He is writing for an audience that knows next to nothing about WDW. And he is obviously not an expert on WDW.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:35 AM   #25
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We've only ever paid for a dining plan once, and will never again. We do however take advantage of free dining when we can.

I do prefer the QSDP over the DP as I don't like spending time sitting in restaurants and feeling obligated to get to specific places on a schedule.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:48 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by TDC Nala View Post
There's a bunch of telltale language in this blog. He calls WDW "a theme park." That's a clue that he doesn't see it (or he doesn't think his readers will see it) as a vacation resort with dining experiences. How often do guests of an ordinary theme park eat at park table service restaurants?

He is not writing for this audience. He is writing for an audience that knows next to nothing about WDW. And he is obviously not an expert on WDW.
And I hope that I'm not the only one who sees this mentality as a huge hit to the integrity of the former "professional" guidebooks vs. the less traditional multi-source stuff like message boards and other internet media.

A guidebook should (imo) give objective information and help guide visitors to make the correct decision for them, not just spout off half-informed biased viewpoints to be taken as truth. But, it's Friday and this week hasn't been kind to me (I really hate August and September in my line of work), so I'm rather cynical and my tolerance with stupid people is at a pretty low point right now... so I could be looking into things wrong.

As a note, I believe the plan(s) can work, but it's situational (which, according to Chrome, isn't a word...) Finding out if/which one works for your vacation "requirements" is what is really key to making them work. If none do, that's fine too, it's why we have options.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:55 AM   #27
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I like the DDP because I wouldn't normally eat at some of the places that I have eaten at because I had the Dining Plan. Yes, it's not a huge savings, but I don't think I would have gone to 1900 Park Fare or Akershus Banquet Hall or Chef Mickey's without it. Yes, we could have saved money and eaten QS meals (which is what I usually do at theme parks), but we wouldn't have great pictures and memories from some of the character and signature places we have gone to either.

Plus, not having to worry about factoring in food and snack prices while on-site on vacation means I am more able to relax. YMMV, but for me, it makes it easier for me to relax
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:21 AM   #28
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And his response to the post I made on his blog came from his still biased uninformed opinion. Ah well. We all know Disney is NOT just a "theme park".
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:31 AM   #29
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Not only that but he doesn't seem to have any real interest in WDW as a destination. He says most guests want to go to Universal. I agree if you're spending most of your time at Universal you don't need the Disney dining plan.

And if he's upset that it doesn't include appetizers, why does he not say that, instead of saying "there are a lot of exclusions?" He makes it sound like you can only get a couple of things on any menu.

Personally I find DDP to be a ripoff but I'm not going to assume that it is a ripoff for every single party that uses it.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:19 PM   #30
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Being the crazy planner that I am, I have done the math and figured the cost of DDP as it relates to the most probable TS meal that I would order (being a pescetarian I usually only have 1-2 options at each restaurant). I found I come out about even or saving a few dollars a day. We usually eat breakfast in our room (I bring cereal and a couple of cans of peaches, and buy milk in the store), have a QS meal for lunch and a TS for dinner. We usually use our snacks for late night, but always end up with left-over snack credits at the end which we use to bring back Disney candy for friends.

This blog post has many errors, but it's about figuring what works best for your family. If you want to go full-force with a "theme-park" mentality then you probably don't want to take the time for TS meals, but if you look at WDW as a vacation, then eating "fast-food" for a week or more may not cut it.

If it's free dining, there's no question about the value. I'm very happy they extended FD into December this year. We will be enjoying the DDP to it's fullest.
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